Study Confirms Adults Want Care at Home

A recent national public opinion poll confirmed what we in home health care have long observed—most adults would prefer to receive care at home. The study also shows that older Americans want the federal government to make expanding Medicare coverage of home health care a priority.

The poll, conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH) and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), found that most respondents support greater patient choice and access to healthcare in the comfort, safety, and familiarity of one’s home. The findings underscore the popularity of home health and bolster the intent behind the Choose Home Care Act of 2021, a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Todd Young (R-IN) in July. The bill would establish a home-based extended care program to supplement the existing Medicare Home Health benefit for patients who choose to recover at home following a hospitalization.

Specifically, the poll found:
  • More than nine in ten Medicare beneficiaries (94%) say they would prefer to receive post-hospital short-term health care at home. 
  • 85% of adults say it should be a high priority for the federal government to expand Medicare coverage for at-home health care. 90% of those over age 65 say this should be a high priority for the federal government.

In a statement, NAHC President William A. Dombi said, “This important poll confirms the growing public support for improved opportunities to ‘age in place’ with health care in one’s own home. The Choose Home legislation provides such an opportunity with high quality care that reduces Medicare spending while fulfilling patient preferences. It is a timely modernization of Medicare.”

We have heard this from our members and from the clients they support. Increasing the capacity to provide home health care will help seriously ill individuals to recover safely at home, increase patient and family satisfaction, and significantly reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 or other infectious diseases. Just as we work to protect adults’ right to choose home care in Vermont, we support the move to improve Medicare home care on a national level.

The Choose Home Care Act is one of a series of federal initiatives that will strengthen home-based health care. Check out our federal section below for the entire federal agenda.